End of camping season? Many people put away their sleeping bags as winter sets in. But today, we are sharing our winter camping tips. So don’t pack up your camping kitchen just yet. There’s more camping fun, adventures and memories to be made.
Winter Camping Tips
Check the weather. Before you leave on your camping trip, check the weather. Do you have the appropriate clothes and gear? Are storms in the forecast? Do you need to postpone your trip? These are things you need to know before you go.
Get the appropriate gear for the season. Sleeping bags have a temperature rating for a reason. Using your summer sleeping bag in the winter can ruin a camping trip in a hurry. Choose a sleeping bag that is rated for temperatures at least 10°F lower than the coldest temperature you are expecting.
4 season tents are designed for harsh, cold temperatures and snow. 3 season tents, aka all season tents, are fine for all other camping.
Don’t sleep directly on the cold ground. For extreme cold, you should also avoid air mattresses and cots. A thick, sleeping pad will provide insulation to keep you warmer.
Choose the right clothing. The key to winter camping is keeping dry and warm. Start with a base layer that wicks moisture and sweat away from your skin. Avoid cotton. The middle layer should be a warm, preferably made of fleece or wool. The outer layer is the wind and water layer. This layer should include Gore-tex or at least 60/40 nylon. For more information on dressing for cold weather, see our guest post by Suzi here.
Never underestimate a good pair of socks. Remember the rule. Avoid cotton.
Two words…hot chocolate. Keep your camping trip fun and warm up around the campfire with your favorite hot beverage. Don’t forget the marshmallows.
Comfort food is great for winter camping. Put away the cold sandwiches. Hot chili and soups are a welcomed treat on cold, winter nights. Keep it easy by making these ahead of time and heat them up in a Dutch oven over the campfire.
Warm up your sleeping bag before you get in it. Heat up some water and put it in a heat-safe water bottle. About 20 minutes before you go to bed, put this water bottle in your sleeping bag.
Consider alternative camping styles. If you are not sure that you are up to the adventure of tent camping in the winter, consider yurt camping or cabin camping. These camping styles still allow you to enjoy the campfire and other outdoor activities. Remember when it comes to camping, love what you do and do what you love. It’s your camping trip.
I’ll see ya around the campfire.
What tips would you add to this list?
For more tips on keeping warm during your outdoor adventures, see these posts by other outdoorsy moms: